Rating:
Average user rating 5.0
23

Kairos: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

With all the groundwork laid last week, these episodes plunge our protagonists Seo-jin and Ae-ri immediately into an increasingly dangerous race against time. Things are getting more complicated as Ae-ri tries to change Seo-jin’s past, and they begin to realize that even those closest to them are hiding secrets. As they each try in their own way to track down leads, the stakes are rising, danger encroaches, and it seems they’ve got even less of a window to solve this than they thought.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Kim Jin-ho, who blames Seo-jin for the amusement park accident that killed his daughter, grudgingly gives the police information about how he killed Da-bin and where he left her body; they recover only her clothes and teddy.

Seeing Seo-jin have to face all that was about as brutal as I was expecting, and I still wasn’t ready to actually experience it. Huge and endless props to Shin Sung-rok for his incredible, heartbreaking performance here—I was almost worried he was about to keel over a few times.

Then there’s Ae-ri’s mom, whose mysterious visitor was Kim Jin-ho after all, as I speculated last week. Once Ae-ri makes that connection, she’s even more determined to hunt him down, and she has not one but two narrow escapes from murder. (I do have one complaint: why does she always go to suspicious addresses alone at night, right before her daily call with Seo-jin?! At least go in with updated intel!)

The first time, Kim Jin-ho would have killed her if it weren’t for Seo-jin’s timely warning to Gun-wook, who had Ae-ri’s phone. Although Seo-jin’s assistant LEE TAEK-KYU (Cho Dong-in) certainly has sufficient murder eyes too, and he’s clearly marked Ae-ri on his Villain To-Do List now.

But it’s certainly a twist to see that Ae-ri’s (almost) murder the next day seems completely unrelated. We don’t know exactly how it would happen, but given that Ae-ri nearly walks in on Hyun-chae and Do-kyun’s tryst, one or both of them might have killed her—and Do-kyun certainly seems to be cold enough for it. And worryingly, he’s not worried about hiding that from Seo-jin anymore.

I had to gird my loins to press play on Episode 3, for the stress and heartache I knew was coming my way. (Especially with my state of mind this week, given the US election.) But once I did, I was immediately glued to my screen. Kairos is highly enjoyable despite being somewhat predictable, and that’s down to its tight, fast-paced writing, skilled directing, and excellent acting.

I love the way the sound design builds atmosphere and tension for every strikingly framed scene—the perfect balance between sound, silence and a truly effective score in the exact moments that stop my breath and pump up my heart. I was particularly impressed with the direction in the scenes transitioning from Episode 3 to 4, with Seo-jin and Ae-ri momentarily in the same shot, and Seo-jin’s slow retracing of her footsteps with impotent horror as he sees the scene of her death, imagining her final moments as the audience actually sees both timelines together… and his relief as the remnants of bloody chaos slowly recede. SO well done.

That quality of execution is why I don’t mind that many of this week’s developments are unsurprising. Both Do-kyun and Taek-kyu are exactly as suspicious as we all thought last week, though we don’t know if they’re working together. Taek-kyu is clearly taking orders from someone, and it’s abundantly clear that something is fishy with the building materials that Do-kyun was in charge of handling testing for. Do-kyun also decisively did all the talking when the police came to question Taek-kyu at the office.

Obviously, Do-kyun has a hidden, vicious hatred of Seo-jin that’s been simmering under the surface, and came into clear relief this week. And y’all were right about Hyun-chae cheating on Seo-jin! Although it was with Do-kyun and not Taek-kyu. She does seem to genuinely love her daughter, though, and Ae-ri’s on the right track trying to approach Hyun-chae where she’s having zero success with past Seo-jin in listening to her pleas.

Things are getting very tangled indeed as Ae-ri and Seo-jin try to change their future/past from both ends. (And as I try to keep my tenses in order trying to describe the present, the past, alternate future timelines and what might have happened.) More people are going to catch on to their supernatural connection if they aren’t careful—I was very nervous when Ae-ri met up with Do-kyun, and I’m sure that interaction will come back to bite our protagonists soon. Ae-ri has also brought Gun-wook onto her team, if not necessarily into her confidence. I’m glad he saved her life, but he’s too weak-willed to be trustworthy when you have this many villains running around.

The tangled threads of past and present keep twisting, altering and re-knitting as Seo-jin and Ae-ri try to figure out what exactly they need to change to get their desired outcome. Despite that, I really appreciate that Kairos takes time for the character moments that can often get lost in the complicated plotting of time-travel thrillers. Kairos is Greek for “the opportune moment,” and that one minute at 10:33 allows Seo-jin and Ae-ri such a small window for live, urgent communication.

But on the other hand, there’s poignancy to the enforced waiting for that moment of connection. Ae-ri and Seo-jin have started using each other’s voicemail boxes as a sort of letter box, leaving messages they know will arrive on a bit of a delay. I appreciated Seo-jin’s apology for the way he treated her at their first meeting, once his memory headaches reveal the new past to him.

I also loved Ae-ri’s story in response, about what her dad’s number has represented to her, how the ritual of leaving messages for him on her own phone helped her cope with her loneliness growing up, and how nice it is to know someone’s on the other side now.

I doubt these two are headed for romance (I hope not), but as Ae-ri said, there’s clearly more to this connection than just random chance. I can see these messages between them becoming an outlet for things they can’t tell anyone else. There’s something about the out-of-time rapport they’re building that kinda gets me in the heart.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , ,

23

Required fields are marked *

The plot thickens. We knew the wife and subordinate were suspicious, but wood chile. An affair, how messy.

Now comes the what if part. What if the only reason Da Bin was kidnapped(if the wife did it) was because Ae Ri said she was going to be kidnapped.

Now, the nanny is still suspicious to me. Also for why is his assistant contemplating murder?

It is getting tedious that they keep trying to kill Ae Ri, but I guess in makes sense, in that someone needs to die in her circle because everyone keeps escaping death. Hmmm

Also his boss seems to be a good guy, which is suspicious. At the same time it is unclear why his wife is doing that to him. Hopefully it is for something more interesting than that he was an inattentive husband. There are easier ways to escape a marriage girl.

Anywhere, can't wait for the next episode.

9
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

You summed everything up Kaffy!

I think even if Ae ri didn’t tell them that, they’re already planning it or so it seems.
Because Da bin has already been kidnapped before Ae ri and Seo Jin started communicating, so the timeline didn’t match up, at least to me.

The nanny has been suspicious since day 1, like who eat and laugh when someone’s daughter is missing? It’s not even a stranger but a kid she has been taking care of since God knows when. She’s also bad at her job that they ought to sue her if possible.

The chairman is too good to be true😄
I just don’t trust anyone in this drama except for the leads!

Even an inattentive husband does not deserve to be cheated on or treated like this, imagine when he discovers this information with everything that is happening🤦🏽‍♀️

9
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The cheating reminds me of the one in My Ahjussi. Don't you feel it?

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

With the closest subordinate to their husbands and that makes the insult bigger.
I can feel it😢

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, I also suspect the boss. Too nice, too understanding to be a CEO.
I believe the main reason AeRi needs to be out of the equation is because when the kidnapping happened, she was actually in jail, so she was not messing around. Her being everywhere trying to dig in the past may be reason she's being chased.
I'm pretty sure there is another couple of time-talkers, one of them being JinHo, and they are trying to fix things to get their way, the same way SeoJin is trying to do it himself.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes the boss is so suspicious, especially when he said he can handle the prosecution. If he has that much power, getting someone to alter a DNA test would be simple.
Seojin obviously does things by the book, is he meant to be the fall guy for all the shady business dealings.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I knew it.

The affair. I was hazarding a wild guess, and gee, I got it right. Haha.

The rest of my theory.

The wife is not a good person. She is faking it. She hatches a plan with the lover to kidnap her child. The little girl is safe somewhere with her mother, who faked her own drowning.

But...I can't think of a reason why she would want to do all this. There is no ransom demand. Unless she wants to drive the husband insane. Some revenge agenda connected to her own past. Maybe her dad died in the construction accident years ago. Maybe she set him up.

But the kidnapper has the toys. And the clothes she was wearing. So maybe he's working with the wife and the lover. Maybe he is related to the wife. Her big brother, or something.

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just hope the kid is his because if not, that’ll be a nail in the coffin.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Noooooo...poor Seojin 😭. I do think Dabin is closer to her dad compared to her mum, as per ep 1 where she pulled dad into her room and in ep 4 she called dad as soon as she woke up.

I really hope Dabin is his. He can divorce Hyunchae and Dabin stays with him. I'm sure Dabin is alive or she will be saved. Save Seojin from more heartbreak please 💔.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with your theory.
The reason may be she doesn't want a divorce that can take so many things away from her: she wants her husband dead or in jail: whether because he's found guilty of murder because of the poor materials used or because he's framed to be the mind behind his wife and his child deaths (although they are both alive, I'm pretty sure).

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap @laica 🥳. I too feel that the drama is not that unpredictable (especially when one follow updates for months 🤣) but it's the way the story is told makes it so intriguing and exciting to watch. The camerawork, editing, score placement, excellent acting and tight plot are all working together nicely. And I just realized as of ep 4, there are no osts being played in the drama at all lol.

I think this is a good description for Kairos: "Making a decision at the right time might avert Seo-jin’s tragic loss, but getting the timing wrong could endanger Ae-ri in the future. The strangers will have to decide exactly what the right timing is." (<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanmacdonald/2020/11/05/two-characters-in-kairos-connect-despite-living-in-different-times/amp/?sh=79283cda693e&__twitter_impression=true"/a&gt;)

The description ties nicely with Kairos meaning: the right, critical, or opportune moment. I think with each adjustment they make, more trouble will ensue until they find the right timing to make changes that will benefit them both. Currently there is about 2 weeks before Da Bin's kidnapping in Aeri's timeline. Ep 3-4 covered about 2-3 days only. I was worried if they would have enough material to last for 16 eps, but looking at the current pace, probably I don't need to worry and just trust the rookie writer and PD team. The PD and writer are both considered rookies as this is their 1st project as the main PD and writer 😎.

8
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So many things happening on every episode, and the theories I had last week are not valid by this week, and I'm pretty sure the ones I have right now will not be valid by next week! This is how fast pace is!

I'm pretty sure Hyun Chae is not dead in any timeline, and my theory (this week) is that she is the one who plotted everything. As other beanies pointed out, there must be another couple (or more) of time-talkers and one of them may be Hyun Chae and JinHo. I believe she's alive and with her daughter, I don't buy the girl to be death, no matter how much a dad wants a revenge over someone, I don't think he would kill another's man child.

How much does DoKyun know? Well, I'm not pretty sure, but he knows more than we do. I always thought he was the one having an affair with Hyun Chae. He just wants SeoJin's position (and probably SeoJin's life).

I'm not suspicious about TaekKyu. I know he feels suspicious, but I don't buy it. And what's more important: he's the one who gave SeoJin AeRi's number. So he actually is the one who made the connection between them. He also knows more than we do.

I also agree that AeRi should stop going alone in the night just before her daily call (girl, it only lasts one minute, there's no difference between doing one thing now or two minutes later, just listen to your voice mail and read the damn messages before you knock on the next door!!).

Performances are top notch. Can't wait to next week's episodes!

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’ve always been suspicious of Dokyun too, starting from that scene of him trying to bribe the police officer (a bit of acting too nice) and when he didn’t let the driver talk to the officer but when he took that phone, I lost it. I really wanna kick him so bad!

How can we get our messages across to Ae to? She needs it. Escaping death at the last minute twice in a row is miraculous but if she’s not careful, it’ll be too late.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

So Kim Jin-ho is helping Seo Do-Kyun and Kang Hyun-Chae by becoming a kidnapper and murderer. I guess he did it for his second daughter in the hospital. What is the connection with Ae-Ri's mother?

But why Hyun-Chae did it? I mean killing Kim Seo-Jin in accident looks easiest that all of that. If her fake death is possible, her daughter's one is more complicated, the finger was cut after her death... Which loving mother would agree to cut her daughter's finger? To kill her?

I'm pretty sure that the CEO is responsible for at least one accident.

I didn't think Ae-Ri would be in danger every time like this. First she was a murderer, now she's a victim.

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think Kim Jin Ho is paid or forced to be involved and he is doing it for his 2nd daughter. I also feel that the protest is not his idea, that's why the secretary was at his house. It's a big conspiracy and KJH is the pawn.

I'm assuming there is a corrupt cop involved in this. A corrupt cop can easily falsify the test results. Hyunchae is a puzzle, she looks like she really cared for her daughter and was so devastated. Could it be she was involved in the 'bring Seojin down' plan but she didn't know about the kidnapping? The last person to see her at the hospital was Do Gyun, maybe he told her that Dabin is with him and he tells her to make the phonecall to Seojin *theory overdrive* hahah

For Aeri mum...I think it has something to do with the case 19 years ago. She knows some nasty stuff, nasty enough for her to go into hiding or abducted or already killed. I want Aeri mum to still be alive, so I hope she's just hiding or kept somewhere. And KJH could also be involved in the case 19 years ago too, so he knows mum.

What happened 19 years ago? The incident that killed Aeri's dad and I also think Seojin's dad too. Seojin's dad was mentioned in ep 1, but he hasn't make an appearence yet...plus Seojin is all alone, so I assume his parents are gone. Seojin needs a partner. Aeri has Geunwook...Seojin is all alone 😭.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's hard to have an idea of the events because they are changing with Ae-Ri's actions.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the man that was with SeoJin when the building collapsed is important. He tried to reach his hand and couldn't. I guess he was AeRi's dad.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap, I'm so impressed with the acting and the entire production. The scene were seojin is re-enacting ae-ri's footsteps outside jin-ho's house was brilliant.
I knew Do-kyun was suspicious, but I just can't believe he would do all that to steal Seojin's life.
Why does he hate him so much? Surely it can't be just to steal his job?

I wonder if Ae-ri's mother came across jin-ho in the hospital, he may have worked together with her husband at the building site. Also when Ae-ri came to Jin-ho's house, was da-bin in the closet?

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

all people in Seojin's company are suspicious af. Seojin is an outsider in his company imo he is successful have high position for his age but somehow people in his company cant stand him? from conversation between him and Aeri i think he is a decent man, and i dont think he lied about the accident but why all of this happened to him?

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i love the way it is set for a month in advance. i can actually follow the story so far and that is a feat for me. this is so exciting and keeps me guessing.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have to admit, the show is gripping me intellectually but not emotionally. I'm more interested in the what of what is happening than the emotions of it. I think this is the problem when a show like this is stretched to 16.
Obviously it's very good in all technical aspects but this 'evil cheating wife' just rubs me the wrong way. This is just a standard kdrama contrast of the virtuous Candy with the evil second female lead and I'm so over this dichotomy in how women are portrayed. There's literally not one other female character who's not someone's mother and yet here we are: one's an evil slut and the other is a virtuous Candy. And now I'm just bracing myself for some skeevy romance between them. Can we just... not? For once? Please.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes there does seem to be that dichotomy, but I don't think the writer goes down the usual routes for any of the main characters. Also, maybe the dichotomy is a bit blurred by Ae-ri being a character that could quite easily have been played by a man.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

At this point, it's probably safe to say that all this tragedy come as some form of cosmic punishment for Seo-jin's cold indifference to almost everyone else in his life. It must felt like a hard slap for him to see everything came down to his careless treatment of many important people he has encountered, be it friend or family or work colleague.

Seo-jin has underwent a massive change of personality that only dawned on me when Ae-ri met him in her timeline. He used to be so aloof and negligent of others' feelings, almost willfully blind of the pain he caused and the negative feelings pouring off towards him. He is a rare character that made me sit back, a little bit stunned, mulling on the idea that being an honest, fair and dedicated person doesn't necessarily make someone a nice person (or even a good person, tbh). And that's such an interesting point for the drama to bring up.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *